Rabbinic Titles

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Many different Rabbinic titles have been used throughout Jewish history.


[edit] Torah

[edit] Nasi

Leaders of each of the 13 Tribes.

[edit] Zikanim

The seventy elders.

[edit] Kohen Gadol

The high priest.

[edit] Prophets

[edit] Shofet

[edit] HaRoeh

Literally 'the seer' was used for early prophets like Shmuel Hanavi.

[edit] Ish Helokim

Used to refer either to an anonymous Navi as in the case the case of Elkana. Sometimes it is used to refer to a Navi when he is together with his students as in the case of Elisha.

[edit] HaChozeh

[edit] HaNavi

[edit] Tanaim and Amoraim

[edit] Early Generations

All early generations Sages did not require any title appendixed to their name since their very name alone was greater then even the title 'Rabban' that was reserved for the Nasi. This was true for all Biblical personalities, the Anshi Knesset Hagadoel and the Zugot. It was only during the generation following the last pair of Zugot; Hillel and Shamai when the use of titles were initiated. First use of titles was for the Nasi starting with Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai. Other students of Hillel such as Yonasan Ben Uziel did not carry a title in-front of their name.

[edit] Rabban

This title was reserved for the Nassi. Very few people carried this title all from the lineage of Hillel aside from its first user Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai. The final user of this title was Rabban Shimon ben Gamliel the Second from Yavneh.

[edit] Nasi

Title reserved for the head of the Jewish Nation during the time of the Second Temple. Until the time of (( )) the Nasi also served as head of the Sanhedrin. All Nissim following Hillel the Elder were his descendants with the exception of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai and Rabbi Eleazar ben Azariah.

[edit] Nesiah

Aramaic for Nassi was used as a title for the Nissim starting with Rabbi Yehuda Nesiah I.

[edit] Abba

Literally 'father' was used as a title of honor for a number of Tanaim including Aba Chilkiya and Abba Chalafta. Abba was also a common first name for many Tannaim and Amoraim.

[edit] Rebbe

It seems its use started in the Second generation of Tanaim, the students of Rabbi Yochanan ben Zakkai such as Rebbe Yehoshua and Rebbe Eliezer. It also identifies the personality as having originated in Eretz Yisroel, especially when used in reference to Amoraim. When used alone in reference to a specific person it is referring to Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi.

[edit] Rav

Used for Sages living in Bavel or outside Eretz Yisroel, mostly by the Amoraim. When used alone in the Talmud in reference to a specific person it is referring to Abba Aricha bar Aybo.

[edit] Av Beis Din

[edit] Chacham

Title for a short lasting position during the fourth generation of Tanaim that was only filled by Rebbe Meir Baal Haness a rank under the Nasi and Av Beis Din.

[edit] Saba

Literally 'grandfather. Added after the name of certain sages that lived to very old age such as Rav Yeva Saba DeMishpatim, Rav hanuna Sabba the Tana, Rav Ada Saba and Rav Yeva Saba the Amora.

[edit] Chaver

[edit] Mar

[edit] Geonim

[edit] Rishonim and Achronim

[edit] Acronyms

Example; Rashi 'Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitschak',

[edit] After Sefarim

[edit] Modern Rabbis

Many titles are currently loosely thrown around the Charadi world.

[edit] Nanach Ideology

Certain groups such as the Nanachs give no authority to current rabbis other then to issue Halachic rulings, calling them all charltans or in their terminology 'Mefursamim Shel Sheker' for misleading the Jewish Nation away from the true leader, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.

[edit] Rav

Used with different sets of prefixes each loosely denoting a higher level of importance in the Charadi Systems.

  • Rav 'great rabbi'
  • HaRav 'the great rabbi'
  • Moreinu 'our teacher'
  • Moreinu HaRav 'our teacher the great rabbi'
  • Moreinu VeRabeinu 'our teacher and our master'
  • Moreinu VeRabeinu HaRav 'our teacher and our master the great rabbi'
  • HaGaon 'the genius'

[edit] Gidolim

[edit] Gadol

[edit] Gadol Hador

[edit] Rosh Yeshiva

Rosh HaYeshiva

[edit] Mashgiach

Mashgiach ruchani

[edit] Mora DeAsra

Used as a title for the Rav of a Shul or a community.

[edit] HaTzadik

Traditionally used for individuals who reached extremely high levels of purity and holiness, currently it is very loosely used by many groups in Hassidic and Sephardic circles to refer to their personal leader.

[edit] Admor

Standing for Adoneinu Moreinu VeRabeinu 'our master, our teacher and our master' used by every Chassidic group to refer to their leader. They also call their leader 'The Rebbe'.

[edit] Reb

Used for any Kollel guy or on fact for any religious married male.

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